Guidelines

Five tips for making the transformation from graphic designer to digital marketer

You’re a graphic designer, and want to be a digital marketing pro. This involves a transition from traditional marketing to digital marketing. I know, because I mastered the move through exploration, research, and course work.

Moving from analog to digital requires thought and planning

I did not just wake up one day, and poof—I was a digital marketing pro!

Moving from traditional to digital marketing took some thought and planning. I had done traditional marketing communications in past job positions and was self-taught in certain aspects of digital marketing when I founded a management consulting firm more than twenty years ago. I knew how to use a few Adobe creative apps and learned enough HTML/CSS to manage my Website.

At some point, I knew that I needed more formal training and found a course of study that would take me where I wanted to go. Then I continued to explore new technologies and apps to provide digital marketing services.

Five tips for making the transformation from graphic designer to digital marketer

  1. First, decide on the digital marketing services you will provide—social media marketing, content design, web design, web development, web analytics, user interface/user experience (UI/UX) design, advertising, analytics, and more.
  2. Assess your software, IT, business, sales, marketing, and people skills. Yes—whether you work for an employer or are a freelancer, you need to use “soft” people skills to identify clients’ needs and provide the appropriate digital marketing solution.
  3. Network, network, network! Find local digital marketing firms and identify professional organizations. Speak with people in the digital marketing industry about the required skill sets and job opportunities. Find a mentor if you can.
  4. Make a plan to fill skills gaps between where you are currently, and where you want to go. This can entail classroom and/or online training, as well as formal and informal internships.
  5. Finally, work your plan. Acquire new skills. Learn new technologies and software apps. Build your digital portfolio to demonstrate your capabilities, and market to potential employers or clients.

Take your path to success in this exciting creative industry that hardly existed twenty years ago! You can become a digital marketer by shaping and working a thoughtful plan, through networking, and developing a solid digital portfolio.

Posted by Jill B Gilbert in Best Practices, Design, Education, Graphics, Guidelines, Marketing

Multilingual graphic design matters

When asked to do a project for a repeat client, naturally, I said, “Yes!” My pro bono graphic design skills would allow my client–and the original author–to more widely distribute an important training manual. Welcome to multilingual graphic design!

Multilingual graphic design | English layout and translation of a Spanish training manual
Multilingual graphic design | English layout and translation of a Spanish training manual

The non-profit philanthropic organization in Melbourne, Australia came across an 80-page training manual written in Argentina and had it translated from Spanish into English. They wanted me to create the English manual with the same typesetting and layout as the Spanish version.

 

This introduced several challenges, also known as localization issues:

  • English sentences are shorter than Spanish sentences. This creates pages with less text and more “white space.”
  • Some typefaces/fonts are multilingual; others are not.
  • Graphic design and style naming conventions differ among languages.
  • The translation required the designer to recognize differences in spelling and word usage between Australian English and U.S. English.
  • The English translation required rewriting in a few areas to make the words sound more natural.
  • The original, Spanish manual looked good to those who are not trained in graphic design. Behind the scenes, the document needed to be set up with consistent typographic styles and colors.

Luckily, I have a working knowledge of Spanish and have written hundreds of English articles. I enjoy layout and typography. I was up to the challenge.

In this case, my mission was to make the English translation look like the original manual, published in Argentina. But what if my client originally envisioned a document that worked well in multiple languages?

Multilingual graphic design considers several localization issues:

  • Language differences—the translation and the use of common phrases.
  • Cultural differences—the use of acceptable images, colors and words.
  • Sentence length in different languages.
  • Languages that read from left to right vs. from right to left.
  • Multibyte languages with complex characters, e.g., Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
  • Multilingual fonts—fonts that have all the characters, glyphs, and accent marks found in each language you want to use.
  • White space—embrace the use of white space when designing a document to be written in multiple languages; one line of text can look as elegant as two.

If you are not well-versed in multilingual graphic design, you can find a design firm that is. This was an enjoyable project with great results. My clients and the author of the original, Spanish training manual were pleased, and I learned a few new things as a bonus.

Posted by Jill B Gilbert in Best Practices, Consulting, Design, Graphics, Guidelines, Marketing, Typography

Jill B Gilbert reaches a milestone with pro bono projects impact

Volunteer work benefits a range of educational, environmental, professional development, and philanthropic non-profits in the U.S. and abroad

JIll B Gilbert has provided more than 800 hours of pro bono graphic and web design services for non-profit organizations

JIll B Gilbert recently reached a milestone: she has provided over 800 hours of volunteer work, saving non-profit organizations more than $USD 100,000. And she’s not slowing down—currently working on her next project!

Gilbert provided marketing communications, graphic design, and web design services on two dozen projects—many were multiple projects for the same client. The projects ranged from a highly-customized presentation for a sister organization to a U.S. National Park, to branding and logo design for childhood education and Head Start programs and a new high school, to custom presentations and brand guidelines for healthcare organizations.

Gilbert began working with volunteer matching organization Catchafire in 2021, during the height of the pandemic. Technology advances in the past 5 years made it possible to complete all of this volunteer work remotely—even for clients in the Houston area—with client meetings via Zoom or Google Meetings.  She provided project deliverables in electronic format, using Adobe Creative Cloud apps like Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Acrobat; Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Slides, and Apple’s Keynote slide software.

Gilbert remarked, “I have enjoyed working on projects with these non-profits. I am open to paid commissions and plan to continue volunteering marketing, graphic design, and web design services to worthy non-profits so they can spend their budgets to further their missions.”

You can read more about several of the pro bono projects in our blog.

"Jill is extremely organized and creative. Her commitment to advancing causes is genuine and inspiring. Jill goes above and beyond! It was a pleasure working with her."
Rosa
Bridges to Science
"I highly recommend anyone to work with Jill. She has a wealth of knowledge, is very kind, responsive, and did a wonderful job on our visual brand guide."
Heather
Wisconsin Association of Free & Charitable Clinics
"Jill knows design! She understands principles of good design and has in-depth knowledge of professional tools to make your designs look great!"
Kerry
Many Hands
Posted by Jill B Gilbert in Branding, Consulting, Corporate Identity, Design, Education, Graphics, Guidelines, Illustration, Logo Design, Marketing, Standards, Typography, Web Design

How we helped the Wisconsin Association of Free & Charitable Clinics upgrade their branding

The Wisconsin Association of Free & Charitable Clinics (WAFCC) is an advocate for the State’s ninety free & charitable clinics. The organization provides state advocacy, education opportunities, consulting services, and telehealth services to clinics. WAFCC fosters collaboration, networking, and resource-sharing. They selected Jill B Gilbert for two branding initiatives–brand guidelines and a custom presentation template consistent with these new guidelines. 

Brand Guidelines

Brand guidelines are the rules an organization–large or small–follows to ensure their brand is consistent across various digital and print communications.  These guidelines typically communicate the organization’s voice, style, logo, type, and colors. 

They show the accepted use of the logo, any color variations, and placement, including  very important “Do’s and Don’ts.” If an organization uses specific graphic styles, icons, or illustrations, the guidelines contain these, too.

Brand Guidelines are meant to be flexible, changing as the organization grows and changes. The WAFCC Brand Guidelines are a living document, soon to be updated with examples from the new slide presentation template. 

Wisconsin Association of Free & Charitable Clinics (WAFCC) Brand Guidelines Mockup
Brand Guidelines | Wisconsin Association of Free & Charitable Clinics
"I HIGHLY RECOMMEND ANYONE TO WORK WITH JILL. SHE HAS A WEALTH OF KNOWLEDGE, IS VERY KIND, RESPONSIVE, AND DID A WONDERFUL JOB ON OUR VISUAL BRAND GUIDE."​
Heather Ule
WAFCC

Presentation Template

The most common methods of communication are email,  PowerPoint (/Google Slides/Keynote/Other) presentations, and social media. 

Branding is important in slide presentations, because it sets the tone for your organization’s message. Consistent style and message are key!

Jill B Gilbert designed a template that was a great match for WAFCC’s message and style needs. 

"This was my second project with WAFCC. I enjoyed working with Heather and building a relationship. We plan to work together on more projects in the future."
Wisconsin Association of Free & Charitable Clinics Slide Presentation Template
Wisconsin Association of Free & Charitable Clinics | Presentation Template
Posted by Jill B Gilbert in Best Practices, Branding, Color, Consulting, Corporate Identity, Design, Graphics, Guidelines, Logo Design, Marketing, Standards, Typography

Approaches to branding multiple products or services under one business

I have a client that needs graphic design work for multiple brands, and wants all of their brands in a single portfolio. Their services generally target the same audience, and the audience can choose one or more services; these services do not compete with one another. My client seeks consistency in the way they portray the different services in digital and print media. 

If your organization manages more than one brand, you have different options to manage them. Your branding strategy–key to your marketing strategy–depends on your target audience and customers. 

Whether you already have several brands, or you anticipate new product or service lines, you can find a structure that works for your organization.

Individual Brands or Parent and Sub-Brands

Two options for managing multiple brands are:

  1. a multi-brand strategy with individual brands for each product/service, and
  2. a single, parent brand with multiple sub-brands. 

If the products or services aim to fulfill different purposes or have different visions, you may want to to separate your brands. If your products or services reflect an overarching vision or purpose, you might choose the parent/sub-brand option.

Your company’s vision, values, customers, and market position can guide your choice of options. 

  • Who are your customer segments?
  • Do your products/services target vastly different segments?
  • Do these differing segments want to be associated with one another?
  • If you plan a new product/service, does it reflect your existing brand’s deeper purpose and vision, or does it reflect a new purpose and vision?

Examples

Multi-brand strategy

Procter & Gamble uses a multi-brand strategy, with individual brands for each product line. Some of their product lines include Tide, Gain, Crest, Pampers, Bounty, Swiffer, Oral B, and Gillette. Some of their products compete with each other, for example, Tide and Gain, but Procter & Gamble gets a piece of the laundry market share from both products, aimed at different consumers. 

Parent brand and sub-brand strategy

Adobe has multiple products under a single brand. Creative Cloud, their main product line, includes Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Lightroom, and more. Adobe markets Creative Cloud to very different audiences, and allows individual users and teams to select the apps that best meet their graphic design, photography, and other creative needs. 

 

Adobe Creative Cloud includes over 20 desktop and mobile apps

In closing, if your organization manages several brands, make sure that you have a clear strategy. And make sure to document this strategy and also provide clear brand guidelines so you can communicate consistently and clearly with your target audience. 

References

Pruitt, Jeff, Approaches to Branding Multiple Brands, Inc. Magazine, accessed 02 November 2021.

Pruitt, Jeff, 4 Branding Structures When Multiple Products and Services are Involved, Inc. Magazine, accessed 02 November 2021.

Dearth, Brian, Multi-Brand Strategy: 5 Top Trends in 2021, Vaimo, accessed 14 January 2022.

Adobe Creative Cloud, accessed 14 January 2022. 

Procter & Gamble Brands, accessed 14 January 2022. 

Posted by Jill B Gilbert in Best Practices, Branding, Corporate Identity, Guidelines, Logo Design, Marketing, Standards, Typography

A less messy approach to using Adobe Lightroom Classic (LrC)

It’s easy to make a mess of thousands of digital photos, just like cramming a bunch of photo prints and negatives into shoeboxes. Without labeling the shoeboxes and photo print envelopes, there’s no way to quickly find a particular photo. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to organize your digital photos and find what you need when you need it?

I am midway through a fine arts photography class that starts with analog (black & white film) and ends with digital photography. I thought it was time to really learn how to use Adobe Lightroom Classic to my advantage.  With fewer than 2000 digital images taken since I purchased my digital SLR (DSLR), it’s about time to get organized… before the number grows too large to manage!

Today I watched a video presented by Tim Grey on the B&H Photo Event Space called, “Avoiding a Mess in Lightroom Classic.” My thoughts on the video? Tim’s advice is great for mid-level to professional photographers who have LOTS of digital photos. Some of the advice is probably not as helpful for students who will take 1-2 photo classes and not catalog their photos again. 

This post applies to features found in the Classic software. It focuses on organizing your photos, not photo editing capabilities. Read on to learn a few secrets of managing LrC, or as I call it, a Less Messy Approach.

What is Lightroom Classic?

Adobe offers two versions of Lightroom; the newer, Cloud-based known as Lightroom, and the original, desktop software, now known as Lightroom Classic (see screenshot, right). 

Lightroom Classic is more powerful than Lightroom, and geared more to professional photographers. Learn more about the two different products on the Adobe website here

Screen Shot of Lightroom Classic, Adobe Creative Cloud 2021

A Less Messy Approach to Using Adobe Lightroom Classic

Tim Grey is a leading educator in digital photography and imaging. Tim teaches through workshops, seminars, and appearances at major events around the world.

His advice on using Adobe Lightroom Classic (LrC):

  • Initiate everything in LrC. This avoids problems with moved photos and renamed folders.
  • Make sure you understand how LrC works.  The LrC catalog contains information about the photos; the photos are stored separately. If you rename folders and photos on your hard drive, LrC thinks they are missing when you look for them later. 
  • Tidy up photos before using LrC. Get rid of photos you don’t plan to use. Clean up your folder structure. Then import photos. You can create, rename, and move folders after you import photos to the catalog. 
  • Use a single LrC catalog. Tim has 400,000 photos in his catalog, so it takes a bit longer to load LrC, but he does not see performance issues with LrC.
  • Consolidate photo storage. Use a single hard drive or external hard drive as the top level for photo storage. This makes it easier to locate a photo later. 
  • Avoid date-based folders. You may not remember when you took a photo, so easier to label folder with who, what, or where photos taken. You can use dates if needed, just not as the first part of the folder name.
  • Create a meaningful and consistent folder structure. Something that works for you. Keep folder structure relatively flat.
  • Make full use of the import feature. Don’t download photos to your hard drive first. Copy photos from your media card and add photos already on your computer to the catalog. Use file handling, file renaming, apply during import, and destination settings.
  • Back up your catalog. Remember, the catalog is separate from your photos. Backup feature allows you to test the integrity of the catalog and optimize it after backup.
  • Back up your photos. Photos are separate from the catalog. Tim uses GoodSync; you might use OneDrive, iCloud, DropBox, Google Drive, etc.
  • Create a consistent image review workflow.
  • Get familiar with filters. In the Library tab, in Grid mode [G], use the backslash [\] to access the filter bar above the image thumbnails.
  • Preserve metadata. Use Catalog Settings and Editing capabilities. You should include develop settings in metadata inside your image files. This way, you maintain the metadata if your LrC catalog gets corrupted.
Posted by Jill B Gilbert in Best Practices, Guidelines

Eight Million Stories, Inc. selects Jill B Gilbert to create a brand for a new school

The Justice Hub School | Original Brand
The Justice Hub School | Original Brand

Marvin Pierre is Executive Director of Eight Million Stories, Inc., a nonprofit founded in 2017 to support disconnected youth in Houston, Texas. Building upon the success of Eight Million Stories, he is founding a new school in Houston’s Third Ward. Marvin chose Jill B Gilbert to create a brand for The Justice Hub School that is attractive, edgy and has an urban feel. This project also included development of a brand guidelines document that will grow with the organization.

Posted by Jill B Gilbert in Art, Branding, Color, Corporate Identity, Design, Education, Graphics, Guidelines, Logo Design, Typography, 0 comments

Komolova Log Works Selects Jill B Gilbert to Create a New Brand

Komolova Log Works logo in full color, all black and all white
Komolova Log Works | Logo & Visual Brand Guide

When Eric and Nancy Raup needed a brand for Eric’s craft furniture and decor business, they immediately thought of Jill B Gilbert.

After identifying Komolova Log Works’ needs, Jill created three design concepts. After further discussions and iterations, Komolova revealed that they wanted to include an owl. 

Here is the result—a playful owl standing on a tree branch. The logo, tag line, and color palette work together to communicate the brand, as well as the rustic setting for the business. 

Posted by Jill B Gilbert, 0 comments